Sunday, January 31, 2016

LB2016 : Your sacred box of wisdom

The next project from Life Book 2016 that I was drawn to was created by Melody Ross, one of the founders of Brave Girls Club. This project is all about honouring your own wisdom - recognising all the things that my life's experiences have taught me that I bring to whatever I need to face next. I love looking at progress photos to see how small additions can make a big difference :
I really enjoy layers in my work, so was really happy to add a collaged layer of sheet music to my background. Had sooo much fun doodling her hair :-)
and apologies for the blur, but my little stamp with white ink was perfect to add pretty details to her top 
I would have liked to use my usual 'found words' for this project, but I wanted to get it complete and move onto a new assignment, so printed my chosen phrases on some pretty card stock...and then the project took an unexpected turn! I had far too many phrases to add to my box, so I tried picking the ones that covered the main ideas for me (click on the photo if you want to read them)
but then I had all these other wonderful phrases....I could have kept them for another project, but I had cleaned off stencils from my background layers on the opposite page, and as I sorted through my phrases I'd laid them on that page. I realised that I liked the look of them there, so glued them down. With a little edge stamping and gluing down a few butterflies from serviettes, I made a companion page. 
So this is my final page from the lesson
and here's the full complete spread. I love that this project took that unexpected turn.
Click on the photo to see it larger, or go HERE to see my Flickr album of all my Life Book 2016 projects. You can see all my posts about Life Book this year HERE.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sun and the beach and some daily journaling

This post is a little about the second page of the daily journaling spread I shared HERE, and a lot about another great holiday destination in the North Island of New Zealand if you ever visit. First the daily journaling - if your background is a mix of dark and light, feel free to use 2 kinds of pens for your journaling :-) Good to find a spot for that "waste" paper that I'd punched flowers out of last year
I'm loving using my daily journal pages as a place to put things I just don't want to throw away - the pansy was the front of a card made by a lovely friend for my birthday last year. I came across it again while cleaning out a shelf, and now it has found its place.
The above photo shows the other listTEN books I also shared last time, and then it's all about the beginning of our road trip.
Since my last post, we've had a lovely few days up in New Plymouth staying at gorgeous Oakura beach in a cabin -  sun and surf and family happiness...holding onto the memory because it was back to work for me today for a couple of teacher-only days, and we are all back to school and normality next week. Hope you enjoy the photos.
View from our cabin :
The water was gorgeous - spent lots of time out in the waves :-)
Festival of lights : Pukekura park
Fun cruise out to Sugar Loaf islands with Chaddy's Charters :

Bush walking - Te Koru Pa historic reserve 
Lovely gardens at Tupare
We always have a good time in New Plymouth - no doubt you'll see a bit more of this on my next daily journaling pages....
You can see my Flickr album with all my daily journaling spreads HERE.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

LB2016 : Patch it up - make it shine!

Ivy Newport created this next bonus lesson for Life Book 2016 featuring collage and shining metallics. Go HERE for her blogpost sharing other student work from this lesson.
I started by writing out what I want to leave behind from 2015 - I used walnut ink as she did in her demonstration, and tried a dip pen that I've had for a while but not used
I had difficulty loading it - should have googled first cos I found some instructions afterwards that said to load it using your brush tip loaded with paint/ink. Anyway - it produced a nice thin line and I would like to try using it another time. I also used a small paintbrush and like the variety of lines in my background - and I did a bit of splatter too
I know from the demo that this will probably blur once I start gluing my collage images, but the point is to write out all the negative stuff, and then to cover it with shining beauty. Next up was to gather possible collage items. First was words from magazines - I have a nice variety which I've gathered and stored over time
and imagery - of course I will be including butterflies as well but will add them later
I just gathered what I liked and it's interesting to me to see the circular unfolding elements. I tried this arrangement first - liking the unfurling and that it's a fern
but I had also gathered large flowers because I remembered a couple of journal pages I made for my Full Tilt Boogie journal that I thought could inspire this page :
Left blogged HERE and right blogged HERE
I liked the pen work I did on top of the flowers, the remembered serenity of the woman on the right, and the way the couple on the left came up out of the flower. 
I played about a bit with other arrangements, and decided I really wanted her coming up out of the centre of the flower. Cut that with a scalpel on glass so I could slide her into place
Here's my initial collage - they are mainly images from calendars or shiny magazine paper, so before I did anything else I brushed them all with clear gesso to help future layers grip.
I started by blocking in acrylic colour - the turquoise is iridescent and the coppery colour for her hair is metallic. I've also added acrylics and watercolour pencil details to her face, and smudged charcoal to outline her face and hand. Click on any photo to see it larger.
I enjoyed adding the metallic pen work to the flower 
To be honest, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the hair, but next step was to add stencils and as I added some background stenciling, I suddenly knew what to do - gold metallic paint and 2 different sizings of the same stencil design
and here's what I did with background and a couple of feature stencils - using iridescent turquoise, gold and copper metallic paints
I decided that using found words from an old large print book were a more suitable size and would better convey what I wanted to say on this page about my hopes for 2016
This photo was taken to better show you some of the "Shine" on the page
and then I decided I needed to add more in the form of a trail of gold mica - fun :-)
Here's my spread complete - the sparkle definitely enhances the positive messages :-)
Click on the photo to see it larger, or go HERE to see my Flickr album of all my Life Book 2016 projects. You can see all my posts about Life Book this year HERE.

Friday, January 22, 2016

DLP and daily art journaling

This week I started with this spread of sprayed colour (see my previous post about unclogging my spray ink bottles). I was really inspired by the prompts at DLP the unPlanner this week, and got started right away on thinking about the ListTEN - books that changed your life. I'm a reader - I love Fiction and arty books, and decided it was too hard to choose just 10 books for their challenge, so I changed it to suit myself. Our public library keeps a record online of what we've had out, and I was able to go online and browse through my list and decide on my Top 10 Novels for 2015  (click on the photo if you want to see it larger)
AND my favourite art books last year.
I printed the list base (free when you join) on to pretty paper, and then glued the lists back to back. They are hinged directly into my daily journal with pretty tape. It was really fun to revisit these titles. 
I realised after I finished these lists that I neglected to include the 2 fabulous art books which I was gifted for Christmas - admittedly with a little guidance ;-) 
If you like painting techniques and gorgeous colour, you can't go past these two wonderful artists. Here are the books ::
Tracy Verdugo's blog is HERE and a peek inside her book via Amazon is HERE.
Alena Hennessy's blog is HERE and a peek inside her book via Amazon is HERE
Both also offer online classes. I became aware of Alena because she was a teacher on Life Book in 2015, and Tracy is a teacher on Life Book 2016. 
I was keen to make another art card this week, and cut out a piece of the paper I'd originally used to test sprays on when thinking about using this recycled art book as my journal
On the day I started this, I'd finally made myself spend a couple of hours in the garden giving it a much-needed tidy. The floral theme is evident in the card! The prompt was to use text from a flyer or magazine : 
I liked the sentiment - I am working slowly towards changing habits, and know what I'm doing wrong, "where i stand". I loved using the daisy-printed ribbon, adding machine stitch and the doodles on the flower (also from a magazine) and on the card were pure fun.
This daily journaling is also a good place to add things that you don't want to throw away, but don't really have another place for - here I've used up a bit more of my gelli - printed masking tape, and the punched flowers will find a place as well.
Here's how my first page of this spread looks finished
We've been really enjoying watching the Harry Potter series - first time for my 11-year-old who hadn't seen past "The Prisoner of Azkaban" before because the werewolf was too scarey. And I really enjoyed reading The Collected Words of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. I love that I can capture these memories in my daily journaling without necessarily having to comment further than the photo of the cover on my page.
January's theme at DLP is "Going out on a Limb : trying something new" - although this daily journaling style isn't coming easily to me yet, I'm enjoying the spreads when finished, and it feels good to be doing this regularly and trying something different.
You can see my Flickr album with all my daily journaling spreads HEREYou can find out more about DLP 2016 the unPlanner HERE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Unclog your spray bottles

If you've visited my blog before, you know I LOVE to use sprays and I enjoy using a variety of them. I ♥ Dylusions ink sprays for their vibrancy, but I also have some Adirondack (strong colour) 
and some Starburst sprays that have lovely sparkle
and have made my own as well from distress reinkers mixed with perfect pearls (recipe HERE) and also used golden airbrush colours in spray bottles - they are great because they are permanent once dry.
I even have tags sprayed with all my different spray colours so know what I've got - this photo was pre-Dylusions availability I think :-)
Lately, though, I felt like every second spray bottle I picked up was clogged! Not actually true, but I decided I needed to sort them out. First thing was to test them all. Don't want to waste spray so I did this inside my journal. I used Dyan Reaveley's method of dividing my sprays into "hot" colours (pinks, oranges, hot yellows, and browns) and "cool" colours (blues, greens, cool yellows, teals).
Her method means you shouldn't get mud - and although I have a bit much brown in this first one for my liking (because I included my browns, blacks and purples here), it's all good for a background.
I tested all my inks on my pages, and set aside the ones that weren't spraying properly
Then it was time to deal to the clogged bottles. Easiest way to fix this, put hot water in your sink, remove the sprayer, and hold it under the hot water and swirl it around a bit to dislodge any blockages. Then lift it out so just the end of the tube is in the water, make sure the nozzle is facing towards the water, and pump until it starts to spray.
For most of my bottles, they released and sprayed properly almost immediately. It was so quick to do that I was left wondering why I had left it so long to do this! When I took them back to re-test them, a couple weren't spraying evenly, and a couple had hardly any ink left, but for the most part, I fixed the ones that hadn't been working, and another hot water soak and vigorous spray pumping fixed most of the rest. I have only 1 bottle that needed to be swapped to a different spray nozzle!
And now I can get on with my daily journaling with a ready-sprayed spread :-)
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